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Anonyfinn "flyingfinn1"

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Far Cry 4 (PC DVD)
Far Cry 4 (PC DVD)
Price: £25.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Changed and not changed -- sadly in the wrong ways, 1 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Far Cry 4 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
If you haven't played FarCry3, you will probably enjoy this. Possibly you would if you have. I've had no problems with glitches at all on a 64 bit Win 7 machine with reasonable but not the highest specs -- I'm at that stage that I'm waiting for a couple of components to come down in price, maybe a GTX 980, and I'm glad I didn't spend out especially for FC4. No problems with Ubisoft's online part of the deal either (i.e. no "can't connect to server" etc).

My problem, and I have a few online gaming friends across the world who feel the same, is that FC4 has got it the wrong way round when it comes to change. The story mode is the same old FC3 scenario of control towers, missions, weapon unlocks, skinning and crafting etc. Yes, more elaborate (e.g. more stealth mandatory in places) and in slightly different terrain, but essentially the same. Oh, you can call in friends, but where's the worldwide online glory in little rooms? So, for me, story mode is like the same thing over again, a bit more elaborate, and with rather less empathetic characters I might add.

As for multiplayer, this has been dramatically changed when in FC3 it was one of the best things, as many reviewers have testified. Much of the camaraderie and chances of glory have gone, and to Ubisoft I say you can make it as pretty and multifarious as you like, but when the real-life narrative impetus created by player interaction rather than programming is taken out, the heart and soul have likewise been ripped out of it.

In both modes it feels more like going though the motions compared to this game's predecessor. It's only an opinion, but I thought I'd share it in case it means something to an FC3 veteran, who might not be missing out as much as anticipated.

So that's it for me: a fairly good game in its own right, but less interesting to this seasoned FC3 player because it is more of the same on story mode, and less than it was in a crucial way in multiplayer. I'll be back if I change my mind in another 40-80 hours... I really am hoping to see redemption not so much for Hurk but for FarCry4 and Ubisoft.


Black & Decker EPC18CA 18V NiCd Cordless Drill/Driver
Black & Decker EPC18CA 18V NiCd Cordless Drill/Driver
Price: £39.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big minus with NiCad batteries, 24 Nov 2014
I have owned a few of the NiCad battery drills from B&D, and I haven't had a problem with their performance -- bar one thing. Most people looking at this, especially on a deal day as they usually are (I wonder why?), will be expecting to leave these in the cupboard for use as situations arise. The NiCad batteries discharge quite quickly when not in use, and after a while won't take a charge at all, rendering the drill-driver useless.. Maybe that's why you don't get a charge indicator light -- leaving you out of power and completely in the dark about it. And a replacement battery can cost as much as the drill in the first place.

I recommend paying slightly more for a device with Lithium batteries, because you can get years of use out of them. These ones here can literally be useless in six months, making this a very poor bargain indeed. If you have a one-off job like a patio deck, look at the 14.4 volt model with two batteries -- you can work with fewer breaks that way, as a full charge can take quite a few hours. I have a lot of experience here, so I thought I'd give a 'heads up' to take into consideration. Don't expect to have this in the cupboard for two years -- the batteries will have discharged long ago, probably won't even take a charge, and the whole thing will only be good for recycling.


Corsair CP-9020055-UK RM Series RM750 80 Plus Gold 750W ATX/EPS Fully Modular Power Supply Unit
Corsair CP-9020055-UK RM Series RM750 80 Plus Gold 750W ATX/EPS Fully Modular Power Supply Unit
Price: £89.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't fault it -- so I won't!, 23 Nov 2014
Really pleased with this fully modular unit, as it makes chopping and changing easy and is well worth keeping as you upgrade. I didn't have any trouble plugging the cables, none were loose or fell out as has been reported by some, and none were too stiff -- if there was a slight exception, it was the 24-pin, which went in with a bit of left then right, left then right, as I eased it down. The cables themselves are a bit stiff, but I didn't mind, though longer cable ties might have been handy inplaces to manage them -- but that's too insignificant to worry about. Had everything I needed including molex adapters for an extra case fan -- and of course to light up the Asus logo on the front of my tower :)

Most of the time the fan is idle, so it's silent and the only slight electrical whine I get is clearly from the CPU. The only sound I get now (when not gaming) is the air rush from my Noctua case fans. Will I ever get a 'silent PC' ? Still working on it, but the RM750 seems a good start among its other benefits. Oh, it looks rather neat and I liked the grippy fitting screws that come with it -- wouldn't want it to shake lose onto the mobo or gpu!


Asus DSL-N55U - 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Router ADSL 2/2+ Modem Router, 802.11n, Gigabit Lan, Gigabit LAN, 2x USB, Print FTP UPnP Server, HD Streaming, 3 Year Warranty
Asus DSL-N55U - 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Router ADSL 2/2+ Modem Router, 802.11n, Gigabit Lan, Gigabit LAN, 2x USB, Print FTP UPnP Server, HD Streaming, 3 Year Warranty
Price: £74.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy set up and GUI, good signal and traffic handling, handy parental controls, 21 Sep 2014
I've paired this with the Asus PCE-A68 network card on my PC, which is the only machine I have using the 5 GHz band in the house at present. 300 + 300 Mbps is quite enough, because it's more than comes into the house -- consider that before making a more expensive dual band purchase.

On the 5 GHz band I get 450 Mbps to my PC when alone -- this seems to be 300 on 5 GHz plus a share of the 2.4 GHz band. When others are in the house on laptops, other PCs, phones etc., it's rare I get less than 360 Mbps, again bearing in mind that this is the speed between the router and PC, which is not what is actually possible online for me, because it's way faster than the broadband service I currently have.

Installation was easy enough, the usual really -- connect by cable and the right settings are retrieved automatically. With 30 ft and two insulated partition walls between the PC and router, I get a signal strength of 4/5 on 5 GHz and 5/5 on 2.4 GHz, which goes to show that the reputed comparative loss of range on 5 GHz is partially true, though both signal strengths are very good in my case.

I like the online control panel, GUI or however you prefer to call it. Updating the firmware was easy -- you can do it the long way and download a file to your PC and upload it, or if you look in the online GUI there's actually a button, and it does it all for you. Very easy! All settings kept as well, automatically.

PARENTAL CONTROLS! I like this, hence the block capitals. In the online GUI, there's a list of all devices that have connected to this modem router, and you can actually set times when they can or cannot have internet access. Accordingly, the kids' phones and laptops etc. are now blocked from 10 pm to 7 am, so no more what's app messages or dodgy web surfing going on in the middle of the night! Times can be set in hourly blocks too, so if it's lunch or homework, there's always the option... One small thing for this on-off service to work, is that the system time may need adjusting to the time in your country in the GUI, and daylight savings time doesn't seem to be automatically adjusted (i.e. you need to set the correct time zone and/or set GMT +1, or not as the case may be.). I haven't done it, but it seems you can also block certain websites.

So, I've had no trouble setting up and connecting, the speed is as promised, the signal strength with the Asus PCE-68 card is good on both bands, and the online user interface is pretty good. If you hunt around in the GUI and online, there's support with manuals and videos. Other functions I haven't yet tried are media server by USB, 3/4g dongle and FTP server, so still some unexplored potential for me. I did actually achieve a fractional increase of around 5% and 10% download and upload respectively over my last basic router on my PC, and it seems good at distributing the internet connection to devices as required -- the default setting is that it prioritizes traffic like media streaming and online gaming.

So, all good from me. As the most lay of lay person's, while the online GUI is fairly easy to use, I do feel that all of these systems could be a tad more self-explanatory, or assume less knowledge on behalf of the average consumer. I guess that's why I can't quite go to the full five stars -- different people have different criteria, and this would be mine. I've seen others fault a lack of features, but in my case I obviously don't know what I'm missing, or what else I could possibly want and especially at this price. The N55U offers way better value than you used to get!


S3+ Foot Pod Unisex black Size:one size
S3+ Foot Pod Unisex black Size:one size
Price: £69.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multifunctional -- for many, distance plus cadence together do more than gps alone, 12 Sep 2014
This review is from: S3+ Foot Pod Unisex (Sports)
I bought this as part of a running kit with the RCX3 watch. It's easy to fit, I don't find it too large or heavy, and the battery really lasts (months!). I calibrated it on three laps of a 400 metre track -- the best way to ensure accuracy because you know the exact distance run when calibrating. Running with Runtastic on my phone, I find that the distance run as estimated by the foot pod is very close to what my phone gps gives me. I don't need to know where I've been on a map, as speed, distance and changes in finishing time on the same terrain/route are all I need to know -- so the footpod does pretty much what I'd want from a more expensive gps unit (and more reliably, with longer lasting batteries by all accounts!). On top of that, it also tells your stride cadence and length as well as your pace (you see these on graphs or as data after uploading online, e.g. pace you see on a chart across the whole run, stride length as a single figure). Cheaper bought as part of a running set with the RCX3, but even as an upgrade, for runners it may well offer much better value than the gps unit and be rather less bother.


Asus PCE-AC68 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Network Interface Card
Asus PCE-AC68 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Network Interface Card
Offered by Nord PC GmbH & Co. KG
Price: £74.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very robust and no trouble at all, 9 Sep 2014
This seems faultless to me. Driver and software installation was very fast (WIn 7 -- I finally uninstalled the 8 'upgrade'!), and the software is pretty easy to use when it comes to joining your wireless network; it also worked with settings to find and use my Nokia phone as a hub. It was easy to install physically and only takes up one PCI slot despite the large-looking heat sink. The antennas are pretty meaty, and I get good and reliable signal strength on 2.4 ghz. Very robust all round. I can't vouch for the speed, as this is a bit of overkill for my current wifi, soon to be upgraded -- so in part this was a future-proofing exercise prior to getting a dual band router; I get a strong solution that I don't need to buy and install twice.

UPDATE:

Now using with a dual band Asus N55U modem router -- 300 + 300 Mbps is plenty enough, as it's way more than comes into the house. The software than comes with the network card shows channels 10 and 36 as 2.4 and 5 GHz bands respectively (may vary for you). There are several wifi users in the house -- this PC with the AC68 network card and meaty antennas, another PC streaming TV, a laptop or two plus phones. The software indicates a speed between the router and this PC as the only 5 GHz band user of between 360 and 450 Mbps (not that this much comes into the house, so it's only indicative of possibilities). Since this is a 300 + 300 router, I'm guessing that I get 300 on 5 GHz to myself, plus a share of the 2.4 GHz used by everyone else (and it is a guess, as the instructions don't tell much, nor the software itself). On the 2.4GHz band only, I get 144 Mbps amid other wifi users, and 300 when alone.

I'm about 30 ft and two plaster board walls filled with glass wool insulation away from the modem router: I get a signal strength of 5/5 on the 2.4 GHz band and 4/5 on 5 GHz, so there is some truth in the reputation that signal strength is lower with 5 GHz, though with this set up the signal strength for both bands is evidently very good.

As I said, the speeds quoted are just the speeds between the modem-router and this network card, which are way faster than the broadband coming into the house. However, using online speed tests, I have seen a fractional increase, perhaps 5% download and 10% upload, in the speeds I'm reaching, but do bear in mind that this is at least as much down to a more sophisticated router than I had before, though it takes two to tango and couldn't be done without this network card.

As usual, the software/GUI could be more self explanatory, or indeed come with a better guide (or indeed a guide!). But it's rather good once you figure it out.


Samsung SAM 850 Pro 256GB 2.5 inch SATA III Solid State Drive
Samsung SAM 850 Pro 256GB 2.5 inch SATA III Solid State Drive
Price: £136.61

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meets speed promise and good disk management software - but don't count on cloning, 6 Sep 2014
What can I say? I have to review the whole package and the promise it makes.

Two pieces of software come with it, one good the other not so good - or the support that comes with it. The Samsung Magician disk management software is good, offers a few settings you can change, and a benchmarking tool to let you know how fast the SSD performs; that way you can see how well your adjustments are working out. Also, this software performs optimization (trim) with a button click -- handy if your OS doesn't support trim or for some reason defragmentation is the only option offered, in which case check for and turn off any such scheduling.

The cloning software is easy enough to use, and indeed I got a copy of the existing 64 GB SSD off in 35 minutes. I could read the files from the new drive when plugged into USB. Trouble is I never got it to start into windows no matter how much I fiddled in the bios. The boot sector wasn't even marked as active, which is something I could fix using disk management from a PC with the cloned drive in USB. But then when it finally recognized and booted to the cloned drive, the drive signature was off (naturally, it seems) and it wouldn't start further than winload.exe. There are various fixes you'll find surfing the web, but it was all a bit much for me after trying a few solutions an without any Windows installation disks (system repair disk offered nothing helpful). Many people reading this could have fixed it quickly and I'm sure they find my fumbling a bit of a giggle. And many wouldn't get as far as I did.

The good news is that I'd upgraded Windows 7 to 8 (8.1) a long while back and always regretted it. So I managed to restore my PC to factory settings and get a brand new Windows 7 PC again. Even after this clean install, when I changed from IDE to ACHD in the bios (recommended for speed if your motherboard supports it), for some reason the new drive wasn't listed as an option to boot into, but this was fixed by selecting `optimized defaults', after which it appeared. I felt I could have managed if Samsung had bothered with documentation that guides you through possible problems - a trouble-shooting flow chart and a list of things to do would be easy to provide since these problems are so typical - search the web and you'll see!

Performance? Well I'm sure you are here because you know this is one of the best, if not the best. My first test using the Magician software was 420/408 MB/s sequential read and write respectively. After switching to ACHD in the bios and clicking a couple of performance-related tabs, it came in at 562/532, which certainly matches the product promise. I now have `rapid mode' enabled and I'm getting strange figures in the 4500 MB/s region (experts -- what's going on there?): I think I read that you could theoretically lose data in a power cut in rapid mode, but I have an APC battery back-up anyway. The PC has a 3.4 GHz 3rd gen i7, and 16 GB of 1600 MHz ram etc. so while not brand new has pretty good spec for an untweaked machine.

In summary, The Magician software is good. The drive meets and even exceeds its promise in terms of speed and we'll have to take Samsung's word for the longevity. A clean install makes this SSD a no-brainer. But if you don't have a certain level of expertise, it's possible that you should not rely on the promise that a cloning solution is provided, and there is no support for potential/probable difficulties.

Last night I would have given this 2 stars. 4 does not seem ungenerous.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2014 4:02 PM GMT


Metaltex Ravioli Press Cutters Pasty Turnover Makers, Sizes 9 cm/12 cm/15.5 cm, Set of 3
Metaltex Ravioli Press Cutters Pasty Turnover Makers, Sizes 9 cm/12 cm/15.5 cm, Set of 3
Price: £5.19

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fit for purpose!, 15 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've made pasties in all three sizes supplied, using a shortcrust pastry rolled out to about 4 mm. If the plate or saucer you use (or whatever) isn't quite the right diameter when cutting pastry circles, it doesn't matter if the circles are too large or the circle is somewhat irregular due to guessing, because when you clamp these shut, they all but cut through the pastry and it's easy to run the back of a knife round them to trim off the excess. Throw that in the oven for the kids...

Being greedy, I stuffed my pasties very full, and then noticed that with the clamps shut, there was a huge bulge out the back, and if I were to open the clamps I'd more or less cut through it (look at the pictures, when open the two halves are tight together, but if you imagine folding them closed, there's a pasty sized gap between them, which disappears when opened again). Anyway, the simple solution is that the hinges unclip, and it was enough to undo one side and twist a little to get my pasties out whole.

The results are a very good shape, and actually quite photogenic! Some recipies call for strong flour to get the pliability, but I used ordinary as many people do, and the pasties didn't fall apart during or after baking, or while eating. A good pastry recipe you can find by searching for the Hairy Bikers Cornish Pasty recipe online -- as far as pastries go, I felt it was one of the lower fat versions, it functioned well and tasted good. What you stuff them with is up to you, but I like to use left over lamb stew with swede, potato, carrot and onion.

Anyway, good results and certainly good for the price.


Polar RCX3M Run Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch
Polar RCX3M Run Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch
Price: £149.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Good for all levels, foot pod more useful than you might know, 15 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've found this model very reliable and easy to use, including downloading training programs and uploading data. I calibrated the foot pod on three laps of a 400 m track, as it's important to know the exact distance when calibrating. I'm surprised at the distance accuracy -- on a 13 kilometre moderately hilly circuit, there was only a 50 metre discrepancy between the distance on the watch and the gps sports app on my phone. You don't need gps! -- You know where you've been, it's how far and how you did it that's important! (you can write a note into your online training data as to where if you wish)

The foot pod also enables you to gauge your performance in terms of stride length, etc., so you can see in this way too how you are improving.

The training programs downloaded from the web are very good. In my case it's handy to stop myself from over-training or pushing too hard too often -- all heart ranges are important. Just because I can spend an hour at 165 to 180 bpm, that doesn't mean it's a good idea (and I'm not as young as I used to be).

The batteries in the watch and foot pod seem to last well and are easily replaceable. The backlight is 'just enough', and only that, but it does save battery.

If you are a beginner and think this is out of your league, I would consider it anyway depending on the purchase price and the difference between the cheaper model you are considering. It will save you from wanting to upgrade later, and this does all you need without being over the top. The foot pod does add the element of distance run, and stride speed and length, and the usb wireless connectivity is very handy -- these two units would cost you something to buy separately.

Do get yourself a training program, it's part of the expertise value of this Polar product. All your info is easily accessible on the web, so you can see how you're doing in all kinds of ways -- distances, times, efficiency, fitness, calories, approx. fat calories... If you are starting out, take it easy: if you can't keep your heart rate down to a particular zone, either continue anyway if you're just a few beats over, or mix jogging and walking -- you'll soon improve, in two or three months you'll be going quite happily. Not over-doing it can speed your progress.

For a balanced review, I'm trying to think of something to criticize, but nothing really stands out.


DURAGADGET Executive Black And Red Rigid Protective Case With Elastic Belt Loop Exclusively For Canon EOS M
DURAGADGET Executive Black And Red Rigid Protective Case With Elastic Belt Loop Exclusively For Canon EOS M
Offered by GADGETPLUSUK
Price: £19.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resists scratches, dirt and water, but probably limited protection from hard impact, 14 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a semi-rigid case with soft-ish interior, and it fits the Canon EOS M, with the 18-55 lens on that typically comes with the kit. The zips are good, and there are metal D-clips on each side where you can attach a strap if required, but none comes with it.

As I've read from another site (or Bay!), while it's a good fit this case isn't purpose-made for the EOS M. However, it's a reasonably snug fit inside, and there's a small, Velcro-adjustable partition to one side of the camera, and this partition is a suitable size for a spare battery (an elastic tie would have been handy here). Looking at the picture, you might think there's bags of space behind the camera - behind the flap with slots for SD cards - but it's actually a good snug fit with the camera strap stored there. So the good news is that this isn't a monster of a case, but you won't get the speedlight flash in there. You *can* get a spare battery into one of the slots in the flap behind the camera, but it's pretty tight and right over the screen, so I'd rather not.

Anyway, while by no means rigid (you can flex the material with your finger, particularly over the lens), this case seems to offer some level of protection, is soft inside but not plush, and isn't really bigger than it needs to be. Impact resistance is limited, especially over the lens -- swinging it into a wall or bumping down the stairs yes, because all you need there is a little softening and scuff protection, but it's hard to see how the impact would be much reduced if it landed lens-first from head height.

Some may want a strap, or a wrist starp off one corner -- not difficult to find. The elastic exterior strap on the back is ok for belts, but you won't be able to slide your hand through to carry it this way.

Anyway, short of having a large and very plush case or a totally rigid case with soft/plush interior, this case is a nice size and delivers an acceptable level of protection so long as you don't do acrobatics or put it in your hold luggage (which I'd never do for reasons of theft). The small size is good, I wish the spare battery could be strapped in, and there's no room for the flash. But of all the options and the current price, I do like it.


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